There has been a mixed reaction from staff and students that the University of Newcastle will no longer offer new undergraduate enrolments at its Port Macquarie campus.
The change, effectively immediately, will not impact on current nursing, midwifery and primary teaching students who will be able to complete their studies with the university.
Nursing and teaching tertiary options will not be lost in the Hastings however.
Charles Sturt University is set to offer the courses, as a part of its Port Macquarie expansion, in 2020.
Fourth year education student Dana Gawith said it was "so disappointing".
"I can honestly say this campus with a smaller cohort is much more personal and supportive, it is a big loss for Port Macquarie," Ms Gawith said.
Angie Reichelt's son is halfway through an undergraduate degree at the University of Newcastle Port Macquarie campus.
"I was shocked at the news," she said.
"It is an excellent course and I believe that closing the undergraduate courses at the university will be a disservice to our community.
"My son is concerned that he will not be able to complete his degree here in Port Macquarie and is also concerned for the jobs of his university teachers."
Former student Ebony Lawson described it as a "shame".
"I feel so blessed to have been able to study midwifery locally," Miss Lawson said.
Staff say they were not surprised by the news.
University of Newcastle Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the Port Macquarie campus Dr Graeme Browne said while it was "disappointing" there would be opportunities in the "postgraduate space".
"A lot of us love to teach the undergraduate program but there is a way forward with the focus on post graduate education and research," Dr Brown said.
Dr Brown said there was an initial agreement between the University of Newcastle and CSU that the latter not move into the nursing, education and midwifery undergraduate space.
But he wished CSU well in their endeavours.
"There is every reason for us to want them to do well," Dr Brown said.
"We hope the nurses locally will consider doing their postgraduate further studies in Port Macquarie with the University of Newcastle."
He conceded the University of Newcastle probably needed to "spend more money" and "invest a lot more to make it work properly here and that is why CSU saw the space" but insisted there would be opportunities for staff.
Dr Brown said staff have been assured there will be no job cuts at the campus.
There are 58 staff at the University of Newcastle Port Macquarie campus. Of those, 37 are casual, 14 are on contract and seven people are permanent ongoing staff.
The University declined to comment on whether there would be staff cuts.
A spokesperson told the Port News "the University is committed to supporting staff during this transition, and will continue to work collaboratively with CSU to identify opportunities for our staff and students".
And with the new courses being offered at CSU, it appears that there will be teaching opportunities too.
CSU Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor John Germov said the university was looking to make a number of staffing appointments in relation to their new courses.
"Staff from the University of Newcastle based in Port Macquarie would be encouraged to apply for relevant and available roles and the university would of course welcome their experience and support any transition to Charles Sturt as an employer," Prof Germov said.
Any student looking to transfer to Charles Sturt University would also be supported.
"University of Newcastle has said it will teach-out the degrees, but some students may wish to transfer to Charles Sturt," he said.
"We are working on how best to facilitate this and inform the students of their options to ensure they have a smooth transition to Charles Sturt if that is what they choose to do."
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